Each summer resident is engaged in pumpkin cultivation, because this culture has unique beneficial properties and is an excellent product for preparing delicious dishes.
Honey pumpkin has earned great popularity among gardeners due to several qualities - early maturity, unusual honey taste and ease of cultivation.
Positive characteristics include:
- honey flavor and aroma;
- standard size fruits - 3-4 kg;
- unpretentiousness in leaving and cultivation;
- good keeping quality and preservation of presentation;
- among all varieties and hybrids it has the most juicy and sweet pulp.
This crop has two drawbacks - almost all varieties grow poorly under the sun, which is why they wither, dry out and cease to bear fruit.
The second point - all varieties are long-braided, so when growing require a lot of space on the site.
Thanks to the efforts of breeders, many interesting varieties of Honey pumpkin have appeared.
All of them have a pronounced muscat taste, but significantly differ in appearance, shape and characteristics:
- Honey openwork. The pulp is sweet, tasty, used to prepare various culinary dishes. One of the varieties suitable for diet and feeding babies. Fruits are rounded, ribbed, with a thick skin, weigh from 3 to 6 kg.
- Honey beauty. The description indicates that this is the most delicious variety. Pumpkins are rounded with pronounced lobules. The average weight is 5 kg. Peel of an orange color with green splashes. Early ripe hybrid with fruit ripening for about 90 days.
- Pumpkin variety Honey Orange has a juicy and sweet pulp, suitable for fresh consumption. The largest fruit mass is 2 kg. The pulp is orange, easy to process. Matures in 4 months. The variety is climbing, so it requires a lot of space on the site.
- Pumpkin Honey crumb. Fruits of a rounded shape, ashy shade with pale pink blotch. The average weight of 3-3.5 kg. Under the thick skin contains a dense pulp of a bright orange color. Tiny is very sweet in taste.
- Honey Tale. Medium-sized fruits - about 3-4 kg. Matured pumpkins have a uniform orange color. The pulp is very sweet.
- Honey August. The fruits are oval pear-shaped. The skin is dark green in color with light green spots. Under the thick, smooth skin contains orange, very sweet, crisp flesh. The fruits of the honey August variety are rich in vitamins, minerals and contain a large amount of carotene.
- Honey dessert. Fruits of an orange shade, roundish, slightly flattened. The pulp is sweet. In the area of the stalk there is a small depression. Reaches large sizes - from 5 to 10 kg.
- Honey Princess - large-fruited pumpkin of bright orange color. The shape is round, slightly flattened, weight varies from 3 to 10 kg. This is a climbing variety that ripens in 4-4.5 months.
- Honey Tokyo f1. Mid-season hybrid with an ashen skin. Fruits are round or oval, slightly ribbed, weigh from 2.5 to 3.5 kg. The pulp is medium density, yellow. Average yield - up to 20 kg of vegetables can be removed from one plant. The variety is intended for universal use in cooking.
Good care will provide you with a rich harvest.
Successful cultivation of honey pumpkin depends on quality material, proper planting and care of the pumpkin beds.
Pumpkin seeds have a very good germination for several years. But nevertheless, it is better to use fresh ones for planting - this will provide a high-quality and plentiful crop.
For hybrid varieties, seed is purchased in the year of planned planting. Last year's seeds are also suitable for planting ordinary ones.
The key to successful cultivation will be the selection of high-quality material that does not contain mechanical damage, signs of mold, yellowness and disease.
Seeds can be lowered into a weak solution of potassium permanganate for half an hour. Such etching will kill all pathogenic microflora.
Depending on the region of cultivation, the seeds are planted in seedlings or on a bed.
In the regions of the Middle and Central Strip, the seedling method is used, since in a short summer the pumpkin does not have time to ripen on the bushes.
Honey pumpkin seeds are planted in containers or seedlings 3 weeks before planting in the garden. Varieties of Baby and Orange do not tolerate the transplant procedure, so they are planted in peat pots or plastic cups.
Planting containers are filled with nutrient composition - garden soil mixed with humus or compost.
Seeds close up to a depth of 0.5 cm, then cover with soil, slightly crushing. From above, the crops are irrigated from a spray bottle and covered with a transparent material - film, glass.
In the process of growing, seedlings are provided with stable heat in the range of 23-25 °, moderate humidity - about 60% and regular ventilation, irrigation from the spray gun.
If everything is done correctly, then after 14-20 days the seeds will release the first sprouts. Then the shelter is removed and seedlings continue to be watered periodically.
Plant transplants directly with planting containers in the open ground are carried out when spring frosts pass.
In the Middle and Central zone, this period falls on the middle or end of May, in the south - the end of April or the beginning of May. By this time, plants will release 3 leaves, which is a prerequisite for a successful transplant.
The technique for planting seeds in open ground is quite simple:
- fertilize the soil with humus 2 weeks before planting seeds - per 1 sq. km. m. make a bucket of fertilizer, then dig and level;
- tear grooves or pits at a distance of about 80-100 cm from each other;
- 1-2 seeds are lowered into each hole to a depth of 6-8 cm, sprinkled with soil and irrigated from a sprinkler.
Feeding positively affects fruiting
Honey pumpkin loves good and timely care:
- Watering. Regular moistening of the soil around the bushes will provide them with intensive growth, development, lush flowering and high-quality fruiting. Bushes are watered as the soil dries up - no more than 2 times a week. During budding and the formation of ovaries, plants should be watered more often.
- After each irrigation, surface loosening of the soil is carried out to prevent the formation of an earth crust on the surface. Together with loosening, weeds are removed, which drown the plantings and take away all nutrients from the useful vegetation.
- Also in the zone of the central stem, you can add mulch from peat, humus for additional nourishment of bushes and prevention of drying out of the soil.
- Without top dressing, it is unlikely to get a good harvest of pumpkins. When growing this crop on sandy loam soil, a mixture of superphosphate, wood ash and humus should be added. When planting plants on loams, a mixture of potassium, superphosphate, wood ash and ammonium nitrate is added to each hole. For 200 g of ash, take 20 g of phosphorus and 10 g of saltpeter.
- The formation of the bush is carried out taking into account climatic conditions - in regions with a harsh climate no more than 2 ovaries are left on one plant, in the regions of the Middle and Central strip - it is enough to leave 3-4 pumpkins on one lash. In the south, the formation is not carried out at all. All branches on which there are no ovaries are completely removed so that they do not rob the force and nutrients from the fruiting shoots. At the top of the shoot leave the last fruiting ovaries, a few leaves, and pinch off the growth point.
Diseases and Pests
In conditions of poor care and cultivation, this culture can be affected by powdery mildew, fusarium, mosaic.
To prevent infection, you should regularly inspect the bushes for signs of soreness, avoid thickening of the plantings, remove leaves that block the plants' access to the sun.
For preventive purposes, bushes are sprinkled with wood ash, and diseased plants are treated with fungicides - copper sulfate or Bordeaux mixture.
In the fight against parasites such as aphids, spider mites, caterpillars, garlic infusion, ash and soap solution or hot pepper infusion are used.
Treatment for diseases and pests is carried out a month before the harvest. Heavily infected bushes are removed from the site and burned.
Collection and storage
It is difficult to predict the amount of honey pumpkin harvest - it all depends on the soil, climatic conditions, variety. But if you follow all the rules for the care, without a pumpkin you definitely will not stay.
- in the basement or cellar;
- in apartment conditions on a glazed balcony with a temperature in the range of 5-15 °;
- in the refrigerator (to prevent chapping, the pumpkins are wrapped with cling film or lubricated with vegetable oil);
- you can put the fruits, crushed into pieces in the freezer - in frozen form they do not lose their taste and healthy qualities throughout the year.
During temporary storage in the open, vegetables should be covered with an awning or any non-woven material to provide protection from the scorching sun.
It is also important that the fruits do not touch each other, otherwise they will quickly begin to rot at the point of contact.
If the vegetable is intended for quick consumption - it is placed in a room with room temperature, where it ripens faster and finds the necessary sweetness.
Almost all summer residents engaged in the cultivation of this crop leave positive feedback.
Harvest of Honey pumpkin is in great demand among consumers and chefs due to its sweet taste and healthy composition.